With 400 million monthly active users and 75 million daily users, Instagram is one of the most influential forms of social media available today. With that many users, it can be incredibly challenging for your restaurant’s Instagram account to gain a following, especially if you are a smaller brand. So, how do you gain followers, boost your engagement rates, and get more customers walking through your front door?

Through your customer’s Instagram feeds.

Your customers are your number one brand advocates. Their praise of your restaurant means more to their friends, fans, and followers than your paid advertising and marketing campaigns ever could.

In order to become an Instagram superstar, you need your customers to post pictures of your restaurant to their accounts. Every time they post a picture (hopefully including your restaurant’s geotag and/or hashtag) they are sharing their positive opinion of your brand with their followers. At the very least, their post will put your restaurant top of mind for their followers. Ideally, their followers will come to your restaurant to check it out for themselves (and maybe even Instagram it for their followers to see).

Below we have listed a few of the areas that should be focused on when transforming your restaurant into an Instagram superstar. Take our advice and you could see your posts hitting the popular page in no time.

Wall Graphics & Décor

Today’s savvy Instagram users would much rather take a selfie or group shot in front of an interesting wall mural than a boring, white wall. Your walls are probably the biggest blank canvas in your restaurant, and they should be taken advantage of! With the abundance of creative, fun, and even inspirational wall graphics that can be seen at hip, local eateries, your multi-unit restaurant will be left in the dust if it does not follow suit.

The only prerequisites for your wall graphics are that they remain consistent with your brand and that they make sense in your physical space. After that, the world is your oyster!

Are you a fun Mexican restaurant? Adorn your walls with decals of chili pepper wreaths, tacos and spices, and Mexican flags. Are you a trendy coffee shop? Decorate your walls with artistic images, such as the city skyline (bonus points for localization!) and textured prints to add a touch of elegance. Are you a healthy juice bar? Include inspirational quotes on your walls, to encourage your customers to stick to their diets and/or begin their fitness journey with your brand of juices.

Yard and Sidewalk Signs

Yard and sidewalk signs are a simple way to make a large impact on potential customers walking by your restaurant. Simply designing your signs to state the name of your restaurant and your hours of operation isn’t enough to get customers in the door... or to get your restaurant on Instagram.

Lately, I have been noticing a positive reaction to yard and sidewalk signs that use humor and creative puns to attract customers and drive social media attention. Some examples of funny yard and sidewalk signs I have seen are a hamburger shop proclaiming “Over 1 Burger Sold!” and a Mexican restaurant proclaiming “Soup of the Day: Tequila”.

Interestingly enough, I did not physically see these signs. I saw them on Instagram. Being the curious social media user I am, I clicked on the geotag of the restaurants, viewed other pictures of the restaurants, and even viewed the restaurants’ website to look at the menu options they had available. If it had not been for my friends Instagramming these signs, I would have never known about these restaurants and would have never even thought about trying them out.

Floor Graphics

One of the best aspects of floor graphics is that they can completely transform a physical space. You can make your floor graphics look like cobblestone, marble, wood, grass, or even water. And they can cover your entire floor space or only specific sections. You can even include words and directional signage on your floors. However, try to stay away from placing pictures of your food on your floors. While it may seem creative and innovative to have images of food on your floor, your customers may feel a little odd ordering an item they have just been standing on and other people have walked all over.

Some great examples of interesting (and Instagrammable) floor graphics include geometric shape decals in a modern restaurant, a “yellow brick road” and red lantern floor decals in a Chinese restaurant, and a large decal of a local sports team in a sports bar.

Thanks for reading! Want to learn more about how we can make your restaurant an Instagram superstar? Contact us today!